I felt like I was living in a different time.
I spent my time in Peru in the animal shelter project. My thoughts of what to expect there were quite different to what I found. The village in which you live consists mainly of wooden huts, with mountains and greenery around you that a photo alone cannot absorb. I felt like I was living in a different time. Time stood still for all inhabitants. I have rarely seen so many happy people, and laughed so freely. It showed me how little is needed to be happy. If you have little you have less fear of losing what was never yours.
I lived in the house of the manager of the project. Together with his girlfriend, we cooked every evening and mostly for the whole family. I really enjoyed being a part of the family and gained insight into their beliefs. On the weekends we mostly went into the jungle. One day we went to the river and fished, after which we built a tent and then I enjoyed the most delicious fish I have ever eaten. But there were also many hours that I was alone, hours in which I learned how to use my mind, to hear, to smell and to see with other eyes. In the jungle you realize that everything around you is alive. At the project you take care of the animals of the jungle, which have been either abused or found without a mother. Eventually the animals were like my best friends. I was already aware of the connection between humans and animals, but this experience once again showed me the beauty of that relationship. During my stay we also built a new hut, which mainly consists of materials from the jungle. Moreover, I worked for several days on plantations and rice fields. Physical work has given me a lot; at the end of the day I was exhausted, but very happy.
At the beginning I felt a little bit lost but then I quickly overcame my homesickness. It may seem all so different but it’s up to you to find the beauty in this way of life. Don’t try to change anything in the world, begin with you and your wonderful experience starts from there.
Frida H, 20, Germany, NGO Taxi Volunteer